ENVE CUSTOM ROAD
BEHIND THE PRODUCT
IN 2007, ENVE WAS FOUNDED WITH LITTLE MORE THAN AN ADVANCED UNDERSTANDING OF CARBON TECHNOLOGIES AND THE BELIEF THAT THROUGH SUCH, A BETTER RIDE EXPERIENCE COULD BE ACHIEVED. MORE THAN A DECADE LATER, ENVE WHEELS AND COMPONENTS CONTINUE TO CARRY RIDERS AROUND THE GLOBE TO THEIR GREATEST CYCLING ACHIEVEMENTS. WHILE WHEELS AND COMPONENTS HAVE BEEN THE SOUL OBJECTS OF ENVE’S AFFECTION, WE BELIEVE THE PROGRESS THAT HAS BEEN MADE TOWARD THIS DREAM IS MERELY A PRELUDE FOR WHAT IS TO COME.
THE INTRODUCTION OF THE ENVE CUSTOM ROAD OPENS A NEW CHAPTER FOR ENVE WHERE THE HARD EARNED KNOWLEDGE GAINED OVER THE LAST DECADE DESIGNING AND MANUFACTURING RIMS, ARGUABLY THE MOST COMPLEX CARBON STRUCTURES IN SPORT, ARE NOW BEING APPLIED TO THE COMPONENT AT THE CENTER OF IT ALL – THE FRAME.
In reality, a “frame” has been in the ENVE pipeline since day one, we’ve wanted to make one, and you’ve wanted us to make one. In fact, whenever we’ve surveyed you on, “What would you like to see ENVE make next?” The number one response has consistently been, “a frame.” While wheels and components will remain a core focus for ENVE innovation into the future, the time has come to evolve the ENVE experience into complete bicycles.
Not Our First Rodeo…
While the Custom Road is our first ENVE branded frame, the reality is that we’ve been assisting frame brands both small and large to develop their capabilities and understanding of carbon fiber since 2007.
Here are some notable examples:
Parlee Z0 – Partners from nearly the beginning, ENVE and Parlee have collaborated on numerous projects over the years. The last major collaboration being Parlee’s flagship US made custom road bike, the Z0.
Santa Cruz V10 – ENVE was contracted by Santa Cruz to develop a carbon rear triangle for the Syndicate’s World Cup race V10s. The V10 was the first full-carbon production DH bike to win a World Cup.
Independent Fabrication Corvid – Winner of numerous “Dreambike” and “Bike of the Year” awards, the Corvid was the result of a collaboration between Independent Fabrication and ENVE. The Corvid is unique due to its IF stylized full-carbon lugged construction. What really makes the Corvid special though is its ability to be customized to the exact needs of the customer. This was a design challenge as the proliferation of lug molds could quickly become cost prohibitive. ENVE developed a tooling design and process that made the project possible.
Cervelo P5X – In a collaboration with ENVE and HED, Cervelo brought the purpose-built triathlon superbike, the P5X, to market. Cervelo’s experience with the SES wheels and components led them to commission ENVE to assist in the development and manufacturing of the P5X front-end.
While ENVE is opening a new chapter as a frame and complete bicycle manufacturer, we are committed to the continued support of US manufacturing and the small frame builder community into the future.
We Build The Products We Want To Ride
ENVE’s success in the aftermarket can largely be attributed to the fact that we are not just carbon craftsmen, but riders. Riders with resources to turn dreams and concepts into prototypes and eventually real products. Our products are great because we ride, which leads us to the Custom Road – a road bike we believe to be the ultimate representation of the modern road bike.
The Modern Road Bike
In 2015, we found ourselves in Northern France on the side of the famed Paris-Roubaix sector, the Carrefour de l’Arbre testing ENVE wheel durability with then Team MTN-Qhubeka in preparation for the team’s debut at the prestigious classic. As confidence in our wheel’s ability to survive the cobbles mounted, our thoughts turned to other performance considerations; namely, aerodynamics. We looked at the large volume tires on narrow rims, and considered the performance sacrifices being made in the wheel system to ensure success over the cobbles. Ultimately, the questions from that day were eventually answered by the launch of our progressive and now popular SES AR line of wheels.
So what does a wheel have to do with the new Custom Road? Through the development process of the SES AR line of wheels, visions of the perfect road bike began to form. As we tested the new AR wheels, we fell in love with the high-volume wheel/tire system that was made possible by the introduction of disc brakes on road bikes. The adoption of disc brakes opened up the design window in which we as a rim designer could operate, allowing rim widths to become wider. By optimizing the rim’s shape for the larger volume tires, aerodynamic losses were minimized, and on the road, notable gains in stability, traction, and confidence were achieved. However, there was one problem; the only bikes that would accommodate this type of wheel in 2016/17 were a handful of the latest disc brake equipped “endurance” road bikes. While these bikes provided a suitable platform and sufficient tire clearance for our new SES AR wheel, their geometries left something to be desired for a performance oriented road rider/racer. We started taking mental notes of what the ultimate road bike would be.
ENVE’s Definition of
a Modern Road Bike
• Custom Fit
• Personalized Design/Paint
• Clearance for up to a 35mm tire
• Functional Integration
• Electronic Drivetrain Only
• Disc Brake Only
Some have asked, “why a frame?” Why now? When we looked at the bicycle aftermarket, there is no shortage of brands with super-bikes claiming year-over-year gains in aerodynamics, stiffness, weight savings, and materials. On the other side of the coin, there are many talented artisan builders from whom to buy a dream bike. These bikes however beautiful, often lack the modern amenities that come with premium composite materials, and aerodynamics.
The Custom Road connects the dots between the leading performance oriented technologies and personalization by blending ENVE’s carbon and aerodynamic expertise with our US manufacturing capabilities to deliver a completely customizable, hand-built for you bicycle.
That Perfect Fit
There are many reasons to buy a custom bike. Whether you’re simply tired of always riding the same bike as everyone else, or you yearn for a better fit, every dedicated cyclist should own a custom road bike at some point in their cycling life. At ENVE, we believe that a bike is only as good as its fit. Obviously, every rider is different, but time and again we see bikes that simply don’t fit their riders. Sure, you can make a bike fit by changing saddle offset, crank lengths, stem length, and handlebar stack, but ultimately you give up something. At a minimum you end up with a bike that simply doesn’t have the “fit for me” professional aesthetic, at worse, your weight distribution over the axles is disproportionately balanced and the bike’s intended handling characteristics are compromised.
With this in mind, our intention is for each Custom Road to fit its rider perfectly. To accomplish this feat, we first developed a modular construction method that allows us to build a frame with virtually any frame stack and frame reach configuration. Additionally, the unique construction of the SES AR handlebar/stem combo allows for 5 bar widths to be paired with virtually any stem length to further dial in the rider’s perfect fit.
Next, we developed what we refer to as our “Best Fit Calculator.” The Best Fit Calculator is a tool that aligns a rider’s fit reach and fit stack measurements with a frame geometry, headset spacer stack and stem length solution. The calculator assigns a “Best Fit Score” to a collection of geometries. From there, we work with you to select which geometry solution will best meet your needs.
So how do you arrive at my “perfect fit”?
To arrive at your perfect fit we examine the following:
• Your Current Bike – What are your likes, dislikes regarding the fit and handling.
• Past Bikes – Have you had a favorite bike? What did you like and dislike about this bike?
• Professional Fits – Have you had a professional fit? What did you like or dislike about this fit?
What has changed since your last professional bike fit? If you haven’t had a professional fit recently, we recommend that you have one.
• Special Circumstances – Have you had any injuries that have affected your fit in any way?
Custom Fit vs. Custom Geometry
As a point of clarification, the Custom Road has been designed to deliver a specific ride experience. While each and every Custom Road is made to order, the goal of our customization program is to build you a bike that fits perfectly, not turn the Custom Road into a gravel bike. As such, only tube lengths and angles that affect fit are altered within a framework of the bike’s intended handling and ride characteristics.
FRAME TYPES – RACE VS ALL ROAD
THE ENVE CUSTOM ROAD FRAME IS AVAILABLE WITH TWO UNIQUE PERSONALITIES – RACE AND ALL ROAD
RACE GEOMETRY CONFIGURATION
• PRIORITIZES AGILITY AND RESPONSIVENESS
• SHORTER WHEELBASE
• GEOMETRY TUNED FOR LABELED 25-31MM TIRES
• MAX TIRE CLEARANCE – 35MM (LABELED)
• RIDER ARCHETYPE: ROAD/CRITERIUM RACER,
AGGRESSIVE AND RESPONSIVE, OUT OF THE SADDLE
ALL ROAD GEOMETRY CONFIGURATION
• PRIORITIZES STABILITY AND CONTROL
• LONGER WHEELBASE
• GEOMETRY TUNED FOR LABELED 29-35MM TIRES
• MAX TIRE CLEARANCE – 35MM (LABELED)
• RIDER ARCHETYPE: ENDURANCE, MIXED-SURFACE RACER,
SMOOTH AND FLOWING, IN THE SADDLE
Express Yourself With Paint
While establishing geometry and a perfect fit are of utmost importance, design and paint are the most fun. Paint is where the Custom Road rider gets to express their unique personality and style preferences.
Over the years, we have continually invested in our capabilities as a manufacturer. Given the challenges associated with painting carbon, establishing professional grade paint capabilities at ENVE has been a large part of this investment. We’ve also invested heavily on the digital side of the consumer experience. To assist future Custom Road customers in the paint selection process, we’ve developed a virtual bike configuration tool that allows users to dynamically select from 4 design templates and 38 colors to visualize in real-time countless paint configurations for their dream bike.
For riders who truly want one-of-a-kind customization or have a specific design in mind for their Custom Road, full-custom paint is available at an additional charge. If for some reason ENVE can’t perform the full-custom paint project, a ready-to-paint chassis can be sent to one of our qualified paint partners for realization of their dream paint job.
That Custom Road Feel
ENVE’s mission is to deliver a better ride experience through science and insight. We know that if we can deliver a road bike that looks and feels like an extension of you, then that is meaningful progress in the right direction. However, there is more to the experience than fit and aesthetics, there is ride feel.
Each Custom Road begins its life as one of 9 unique carbon parts that are cut and assembled to create a complete Custom Road Chassis. Each one of these parts is made using a mix of unidirectional carbon fiber, spread-tow fiber, and other materials to achieve our goals for weight, strength, stiffness, and compliance.
We believe that when it comes to road frame performance metrics, there can be “too much of a good thing.” While the Custom Road was designed to deliver high levels of efficiency through refined carbon laminates using the latest composite materials, our ride quality goals extend beyond a myopic focus on any one performance metric. Rather, we aim to strike a thoughtful balance between stiffness and compliance, aerodynamics and stability, lightweight and durability.
The end result is a road bike that feels connected to the road and rewards your hardest efforts.
Simply put, aerodynamic performance is expected from a modern road bike. Good aerodynamics deliver energy saving speed, stability, and confidence. Tapping into more than a decade’s worth of in-frame aero wheel development, the ENVE Custom Road is designed and surfaced to complement SES wheel design. While all SES wheelsets are designed to make any bike go faster, only the Custom Road has been specifically designed for pairing with an SES wheelset.
Custom Road Aero Strategy
• Developed in CFD and confirm results in wind tunnel
• Deliver aerodynamic efficiency in a package balanced for weight, stiffness, stability and ride quality
• Custom Road + SES wheels work in harmony
• Frame tube shape derived from SES in-frame development
• Additional gains in drag reduction through integration
• Custom fit will allow rider to be in a more optimal position, achieving greater efficiency
So how fast is the Custom Road?
The Custom Road was benchmarked against the leading bikes on the market and is designed to be as fast as possible while striking a refined balance with the other performance oriented aspects of the design. For example, you can further reduce drag by increasing the cross-section of fork blades, head tube, down tube, seat tube and stays. However, deeper tubes create more surface area and consequently increase weight while often diminishing crosswind stability. While some courses and activities, like time-trialing, justify the trade-offs, we prefer that our road bikes strike a refined balance between aero efficiency, crosswind stability, and weight savings.
THE CUSTOM ROAD’S SURFACES WHEN PAIRED WITH AN SES WHEELSET ARE DESIGNED TO BALANCE AERODYNAMIC AND STRUCTURAL EFFICIENCIES FOR A FAST AND EFFICIENT RIDE.
Like aerodynamics, there is a point of diminishing returns as it relates to weight. In our experience we’ve found that bikes that are on the “extremely light” end of the spectrum often suffer in terms of ride quality and in some cases long-term durability. Bikes on the heavy side tend to be unrefined and/or unnecessarily heavy to achieve cost-savings in manufacturing.
While the weight of each Custom Road will vary depending on the size of bike and paint, an unpainted 56cm frame weighs roughly 850 grams. At this weight, we feel that the ride quality, stiffness, and durability strike a refined balance while delivering a premium ride quality.
The modern road cyclist demands versatility. Where two bikes were once required to tackle the spring classics and a grand tour, disc brakes and progressive engineering have made it possible for one bike to fit virtually any tire size that one would ever want to run in a road or mixed surface ride or racing situation. Despite the fact that the Custom Road can play host to tire sizes labeled between 25mm and 35mm, there are limitations in terms of optimizing the bikes handling for this broad range of tire compatibility. In addition, riders have unique preferences when it comes to their bike’s handling. This being the case, the Custom Road is available in two flavors – Race and All Road.
The Custom Road “Race” variation features a geometry optimized for smaller tires 25mm to 31mm while the “All Road” is optimized for tires 29mm to 35mm. If you’re someone who is riding say a 28mm to 32mm tire and can’t decide. The decision between Race and All Road comes down to the type of riding you do, and how you prefer your bike to handle. The Race prioritizes responsiveness for racing. The All Road prioritizes stability and control for long days in the saddle.
Regardless of which version of the Custom Road you choose, each bike shares the same integrated, professional aesthetic, and is configured to achieve your perfect fit.
Integration has become a ubiquitous aspect of modern road bike design. When done properly, aero performance, ride quality, and aesthetics are enhanced. As it relates to the Custom Road, all wires and hoses are hidden out of sight and out of the wind to ensure optimal airflow over the Custom Road’s aero optimized surfaces.
One-Piece SES AR Bar/Stem Combo and K-EDGE Combo Mount
The SES AR Handlebar was launched in 2020 and has rapidly established itself as our most popular handlebar. The reasons for its rapid rise to success are not surprising to those of us who created it. Our experiences riding our speed oriented SES Aero Road Handlebar and the confidence inspiring G Series Handlebar, inspired the design. The SES AR Handlebar with it’s aerodynamic shape and thoughtfully flared drops, makes this bar the definitive modern road handlebar platform.
From this base, we turned our popular stand-alone handlebar into a one-piece bar/stem combo to further improve aero performance, reduce weight, enhance aesthetics, and improve the ride quality.
With the wires and hoses running through the bar and into the stem, we worked with computer and accessory mount experts K-EDGE to create a combo mount that integrates into the handlebar and houses a Shimano EW-RS910 bar-end type junction box with charging port. In builds where a wireless drivetrain is employed, the junction box holder may be left empty with a dummy cover in place.
As the wires and brake hoses exit the Custom Road’s one-piece bar/stem, they travel through a bearing race in a gap between the 1.125” steerer tube and a 1.5” bearing. This design allows for the use of a traditional bearing preload system while keeping the internal routing as simple and straight-forward as possible. To make this possible, we partnered with US manufacturing cohorts Chris King Precision Components to help develop a headset for the Custom Road. While often overlooked when it comes to their contribution to performance, a premium headset ensures hard-wearing durability in all-weather conditions, confident handling, and a secure front end. In short, the Chris King Aeroset complements the Custom Road in every way.
ENVE Seat Mast and Topper
The Custom Road features an integrated seat mast. Given that each bike is made-to-order, and we love the aesthetic, we opted for an integrated seat mast. Our reasons for a seat mast go beyond aesthetics however. The integrated seat mast features a size specific tuned carbon laminate that allows the Custom Road to have a more refined ride quality and lower weight than what is achievable with a traditional post design. While the seat mast is most certainly a measure thrice cut once kind of affair, the Custom Road Mast Topper allows for a gracious 35mm of adjustable range should a rider’s fit needs change over time.
There are many bicycle brands that have “house” brand wheelsets. The difference between ENVE and these brands is that we started with wheels. While there are many reasons and motivations for why we have decided to pursue frames, at the top of the list is a desire to build a bike that complements SES rim design in ways that no other frame has.
The Custom Road shares the same DNA and high-performance pedigree with the SES wheel line and promises to deliver a ride experience that inspires confidence, speed, and progression.
The Custom Road and SES wheelsets are truly a match made in performance.
Solutions For The Ride Lifestyle
While the high level of integration on the Custom Road results in a stunning road bike that is as fast as it is beautiful, these design decisions were not taken lightly. As riders and industry employees, we wrench on our own bikes and travel the world with them. We understand the numerous nightmare scenarios that can accompany traveling with a bike and especially one with this level of integration. We understand how a task as simple as cutting a steerer-tube down can become a notable project with some integrated systems. Here are a few solutions that the Custom Road employs to make life with integrated components more simple.
SPLIT INTEGRATED SPACERS
As mentioned above, our goal is to deliver you a bike that fits perfectly. To us that means the bike only has as many headset spacers as you want it to have. In the case where you are unsure of where you want your final handlebar height to land, we’ve made it possible to remove the bar/stem combo, remove spacers beneath as desired, and cut the steerer tube without having to pull brake hoses or wires.
ENVE X SCICON AEROCOMFORT 3.0 TSA TRAVEL CASE
Integrated seat masts, one-piece bar/stems, and hidden wires and hoses are a traveling cyclists worst nightmare. We get it… So, we scoured the market looking for the ideal travel case for the Custom Road. Our criteria for the ultimate travel case was pretty simple. The case had to be secure, providing excellent protection for your most prized cycling possessions and require minimal disassembly/assembly to transition between travel and ride readiness.
Our search ultimately ended with the Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 TSA. This travel case allows the Custom Road to be packaged without removing the handlebar or seat mast topper, ensuring that critical adjustments and sensitive internal wires/hoses remain intact. To transition your bike from ride to travel mode, simply remove the wheelset, install your Custom Road chassis onto Aerocomfort 3.0 TSA’s internal frame using the axles, add protective padding, secure straps, insert wheels into wheel pockets, close it up and drive or fly with confidence that your ENVE Custom Road will arrive at your destination safe, secure, and ready to roll.
US Made By Choice
It’s no secret that we are proud of our US manufacturing capabilities and expertise. Our source of pride however isn’t rooted in a blind sense of patriotism, rather it’s rooted in what it takes to build something in the face of adversity, of accomplishing something that others claimed to be impossible. Ultimately, making products in Ogden, Utah means we can make a better product while we also improve our local community by creating a livelihood for our employees and their families.
With the introduction of the Custom Road, we continue to improve our craft while also expanding the breadth of our capabilities as a manufacturer of premium cycling products. While the Custom Road will be produced in relatively small numbers, the statement is loud and clear – US manufacturing is alive and well.